Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies ‘I ♥ Here’ – album review


Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies ‘I ♥ Here’ (Free Rock ‘n’ Roll/Antipop Records)
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Third album from Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies, the Liverpool based ‘kitchencore’ outfit who with this offering have produced their most accomplished release to date; this may well be due to the current line-up, the band previously shedding members at the same rate Jordan loses husbands…

Ten tracks of rigorous off kilter pop, tracks that barge rudely through both genre and boundaries; opener ‘Marcel Duchamp’ a frantic garage roustabout that clearly had the attendant recording engineer pulling his hair out, this is hell for leather, turn everything up to the max rock ‘n’ roll the captured distortion shredding your speakers; or ‘Can A Boy Be A Dinner Lady?’ which probes gender equality whilst driven by some desperate saxophone.

The Dinner Ladies are about honesty, the music they play is at times simple, certainly without pretence or agenda; this is reflected in lyrics…’A New Way Of Living’ urging us to consider “one that’s not about taking, but about giving’…’Dead’s Not Punk’ is one of the most instant tracks, driven by a saxophone reminiscent of those old X-Ray Spex songs where The Dinner Ladies question the perceived cool of drug abuse…the rolling beats of ‘Don’t Listen To The Government’ which (rightly) berates the Daily Mail and reminds us that the sentiments Pete is expressing stem from his own life experiences “I’m straight. I’m Widnes. Through and through”…these real life anecdotes continue on to ‘Motorway’ and questions the modern worlds continuing addition to consumerism.

And then a hidden bonus track, granted the effect is diminished on a CD player that proudly shouts out an 11 song track-list as opposed to the 10 displayed on the sleeve…surely that’s not The Dinner Ladies covering Pink Floyd, and what’s more its ‘Arnold Layne’ a track that has been decimated by so may over the years; somehow The Dinner Ladies have not just pulled this off, this is a triumph – played with due respect but also with that ‘fuck you’ punk attitude that certainly Syd Barrett expressed; I get the feeling Barrett would chuckle if he had heard The Dinner Ladies, instantly responding to their free-spirit DIY take on rock ‘n’ roll.

Track List:

1. Marcel Duchamp
2. Can a Boy Be a Dinner Lady?
3. A New Way of Living
4. Dead’s Not Punk
5. Don’t Listen to the Government
6. Bangin’ on a Plank
7. I Spy for the DIY
8. Workin’ for The Man
9. F*****
10. Motorway Song
11. Arnold Layne (Bonus Track)


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